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fighters on the growing phenomenon of children entering the u.s. without their parents. we will talk with a usa reporter. host: it's thursday, june 5. welcome to "washington journal." ago, former nsa contractor edward snowden leaked documents that disposed the range of government surveillance tactics used by the national security agency. today the senate intelligence committee is set to discuss legislation that will tackle that issue. we want to hear from you on how the congress should reform the nsa. the phone lines are open now.
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host: this morning, lots of articles taking a look at this, but one-year anniversary of the publication of disclosures made by former nsa contractor edward snowden. let's take a look at the "roll call" technology blog. "to protest the mass surveillance activities, our group is banding together for tougher website encryption and wider use of privacy tools full onlyit's not the high-profile event happening on june 5, the anniversary of the publication of the first therdian'story spurred by
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edward snowden weeks. of course, given that the nsa can crack some of the most sophisticated encryption out there, it's not clear how much good the protest will do. still, the group is plowing ahead with a campaign." that is a topic we will hear a lot about on capitol hill today. joining us to have that discussion is rob margetta, a technology reporter for thanks for joining us this morning. guest: thank you for having me. host: tell us about this hearing later today. reviewthis will be the that focuses on legislation that will reform the foreign intelligence surveillance act. we saw the house passed its own version of that legislation last month and what that would do is repent the -- prevent the government from collecting and storing telephone metadata. it would leave that information with the phone companies and
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allow the government to query that. in most cases they need to get a court order from a secret intelligence court, but the emergency situation, the house bill adds a provision that would allow the government to do the queries first and then get a court review afterward. this is the senate intelligence committee's foray into reviewing that. host: some critics of the legislation and suggested that it is a little too weak, that it doesn't go far out in curbing what the nsa can do. talk about that reaction. guest: it is important to note that even some of the backers like john conyers, junior and democratic congressman, and jerrold nadler, who are strong advocates, came out and said --t this build doesn't do this bill doesn't do everything we wanted to but it is a good rollback of government surveillance powers since 1978. what the critics are most excited about --upset about
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this point is that the series of compromise is, it added the emergency provision that would allow the government to query the information first. it contains a change in what are called specific selector terms. originally the legislation ,efined those very specifically saying that information like a , the number or an address government would be able to query information related to that. the revised version, critics say, would allow the government to clearly all the information related to an entire zip code or something as broad as an entire area code or, say, the address of a major phone company. forics say it would allow bulk -- it wouldn't allow for bulk collection, but bulky
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collection. one of the critics is the senate judiciary many to chairman patrick leahy, who has his own ove -- fisafifa oversight bill. host: the politics of the house much different from the senate. different parties control the chamber. what are the odds of seeing a bill like this or something like it passing this session? guest: there is a lot a pressure on congress to act on this from the public comment prior to the house acting, diane feinstein, the chairman of the senate intelligence committee, was very resistant to passing any kind of legislation that would roll back the nsa's capabilities in ways she said would be harmful to intelligence collection. after the house bill passed she released a statement saying that she would be willing to consider it, and that she had spoken to the president about it.
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the weekend before the house acted, the white house met with , and some ofhip the changes to the bill actually were told were crucial in getting it passed. it looks like with the white house backing this could have a chance in the senate. what is going to be the issue is , whetherhairman leahy intelligence overhaul advocates like senator udall, senator wyden,, whether they are willing to compromise to the level that the house did. margettat is rob . thanks for joining us this morning. guest: thank you for having me. top: also happening, technology companies including facebook and google are warning the senate to tread carefully when they look at this issue of nsa surveillance. let's look at this full-page ad or today in a number of newspapers, including "the washington post," "the new york
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times," and "politico." governmentand the has a duty to protect citizens, but the balance in many countries has tipped too far in favor of the state and away from the rights of the individual. this undermines the freedoms we all cherish and it must change. over the last year, many of our company's have taken important steps, including further strengthening the security of our services and taking action to increase transparency. the government needs to do more." stepping out of the bottom, "it is in the best interest of the united states to resolve these thesees -- resolve issues. confidence in the internet has been badly damaged over the last year. it is time for action. as the senate takes up this important legislation, we are due to ensure that surveillance efforts are clearly restricted by law abortion it to the risk -- proportionate to the risks, transparent, and subject to independent oversight."
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an open letter to the united states senate from leaders of top technology companies. first call is from myrtle beach, south carolina, richard on the line for republicans. caller: yes, there is 2 things. i agree with that letter completely. but i want to take issue with c-span. why does c-span record my phone number and know that where i am calling from when i call in? righty, we are going to stick with this topic. this is from "the hill" newspaper. "one year after edward snowden shook the world with weeks about agency,onal security many of the most controversial operations are still up and running. president obama has made some administrative reforms to the programs, butng many can be overhaul only with
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legislation from congress. those efforts have hit roadblocks, partly due to concerns that sweeping changes could undercut the country's ability to fight terrorist. many privacy advocates say the fact that many people know about government spying is a huge step forward and one that wouldn't have been possible without the leaks from snowden." a hearing this afternoon by the intelligence committee. host: let's turn now to some comments from twitter. you can reach out to us there, @cspanwj. first tweet is from jody.
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host: those are just some of the comments coming in on twitter this morning. passed the usa freedom bill last month, republican congressman jim sensenbrenner explained why the bill was an improvement and would provide a better check on the nsa's bulk collection practices. let's hear what he had to say. [video clip] the author of the usa freedom act and the patriot act, let me say that my concerns for all of these debates is to balance out the need for increased security with the civil liberties and personal freedoms that have made america a different than any other country in the world. the freedom act, i believe, does that, because for the first time it does rain in the bulk collection of data from
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americans, and it allows -- or it does not allow the administration or the nsa to get around and use something other than section 215 of the patriot act to try to reauthorize it bulk collection. wisconsin was congressman jim sensenbrenner. x call on the democrats -- next: the democrats line. caller: first of all, it is a pleasure to have a beautiful black woman on the show. afterd like to say that 9/11, what did the nsa do for us after 9/11? absolutely nothing. way failed us all the around and now they passed the patriot act and are spying on everybody and they still can't get their story right. i think it's insane. i think the nsa are to be closed down, period.
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host: next up on the line for democrats as well as caroline. caller: yes, i think that we are all overreacting. i do think that the nsa, they have a purpose to serve. we've got threats internally as well as externally. the oklahoma attack on the federal building. we have right now kkk groups all over this country. we have internal terrorist groups. the fed is not just external but it is also internal. and then we put all of this information on the internet and every time you go to a site that you buy something from, every time you hook up your computer that site shows up, so what are they talking about, privacy? i believe they have an important role to keep us protected. americans think they can have it both ways, but there has to be a
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balance, and i think some of this is just ridiculous. host: all right, earlier we talked about the usa freedom act . that is a bill that passed the house in may by a margin of 303-121. what it does is effectively end the nsa's ability to collect phone records in bulk about people's phone calls here in the united states. south bend, indiana, rich on the democrats line. caller: good morning. what i find laughable is all these people are saying, oh, my privacy, my rights are being taken. no, they are not. unless it is used against you in a court of law, nothing has been used against you. they are not arresting people because of phone calls. being -- has been thrown in prison. your rights are not being taken away.
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these same people going crazy right now, have a building blowup and they will be yelling "how come you didn't connect the dots?" host: rich, do you think that congress should do anything to change the nsa and government surveillance? caller: leave it alone, because the same congressmen who are theyng off their mouths, will be, if something happens, they will be demanding that the nsa director be fired because he didn't do his job and because the building got blown up. in southt was a rich bend, indiana. during an nbc interview from moscow last month, edward snowden was asked by brian williams if he was still serving his government. he says yes. let's listen to that crap. [video clip] > to -- let's listen to that clip. [video clip] >> did you say you were still
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serving your government? >> yes. >> how so. >> if you look at the way this has been filtered through the most trusted journalistic institutions in america, if you look at the way that the government has had a chance to chime in on this and make their case, and when you look at the changes that it has resulted in, we have had the first open federal court to ever reviewed these programs, declare it likely unconstitutional and orwellian. and now you see congress agreeing that mass surveillance, bulk collection needs to end. with all of these things happening, that the government agrees all the way up to the president, again, make us it be saidow can that i did not serve my government? how can it be said that this from the country when all three branches of government have made reforms as a result of it? host: that interview is last
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month, edward snowden speaking to nbc's brian williams. reuters points out that edward snowden's lawyer assumes that his russian asylum will be extended. german radio on thursday that he expects his client's asylum in russia to be extended beyond july. extended,'it will be snowden's lawyer in germany was quoted as saying. he added that there was no guarantee that this would happen . despite the united states wanting moscow to send him home for criminal charges, including espionage, for disclosing internet, telephone surveillance programs." christine is on the line for democrats. caller: i would like to make a comment. anybody who thinks they are not being monitored if they have a smart phone is ridiculous, ok? i refuse to get a smartphone.
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we -- there isas enough espionage going on without them having to use my and tracking me. thank you, bye-bye. host: let's take a look at several other stories making headlines. front page of "usa today." "senate is ripe for gop takeover." from electionut day, the gop has largely avoided the mistakes of the 2 review cycles in which the party nominated lackluster candidates who cost the party winnable seats in colorado, delaware, indiana, missouri, and nevada. this year gop nominees in democratic-held seats in south dakota, west virginia, and montana have led in polls and are favored in november. in victory in the trio of states would provide republicans half of the seats republicans need to get a net gain takeover."
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our question this money, congress can sit -- a topic this morning, congress considering nsa reform. about electoral contests, "the washington post. " "tea party won't back down against cochran." that about the senate race in mississippi. it promises to serve as the staging ground for the conservative movement's most fervent push against targeted republican incumbents this year. the runoff follows an in whichsh tuesda cochran 149% of the vote and state senator chris mcdaniel, backed by the tea party, took
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49.5%. key party activists are bent on retiring a long time under -- tea party activists are bent on retiring and longtime moderate against establishment gop forces seeking to avoid a replay of recent elections in which flawed candidates cost them seats." new york, on the line for independents. lou, you are on "washington journal." you with us? caller: yes, i am. i find it appalling that americans would give up their freedom. a lot of people call in and just don't care. our forefathers said to give up freedoms for liberty, we deserve neither. there is no sense of urgency. the talibangainst
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and such have no air force, no army. we allow them in. we are still being spied on. is unconstitutional. -- it is unconstitutional that we would allow it. host: from where you sit, watch it comes to about the nsa? should it still exist? caller: the patriot act -- i mean, habeas corpus has pretty much been eradicated. take you there is really no laws that say we have to go into a courtroom. i think the patriot act should be reversed and in order to be spied on, there should be a court order. there should be some substance to actually be spied on. you can't spy on innocent to prove them guilty before they have done anything. speaking of the patriot act, got a comment on twitter.
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host: again on twitter, we are @cspanwj. another note from "the washington post" this morning. "sergeant bowe bergdahl, the longest-serving prisoner of war , is undergoing a staged decompression and reduction -- reintroduction to the outside world that is akin to the slow ascent of a deep-sea diver. his medical and psychological needs are a priority but he will also be questioned about the circumstances of his imprisoned and and the other -- any other details that could yield helpful intelligence about his captors. process began the long
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of reintegration immediately after he was handed over to u.s. forces." operations we will talk about that with jonathan turley later on in this program. want to walk you through the big we talk about surveillance reform, the foreign intelligence surveillance court. you might have heard it referred court.he fisa its role is to review warn applications. one or more of the judges must be on the u.s. district court from bc -- from d.c. another tweak this morning -- tweet this morning. host: earlier we heard from republican congressman james sensenbrenner. we want to listen to senator saxby chambliss for georgia. yet comments about government
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surveillance at a bloomberg event. [video clip] went too far on the bulk collection side of it. i wish i could go into the number of times that our agencies have actually access telephone numbers. it is so miniscule. -- anddoes it make sense the companies ask for this -- more transparency on the issue? >> i think you are going to see that. the way the house approached it is a little bit different than and i are and dianne not 100% on this together, but we're pretty close. but we take a little different approach from what they do. there is some people who would like to see the 215 program totally eliminated and there are those of us who think it ought estate basically as it is with some changes. do we need to keep it 5 years?
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probably not. can telephone companies keep these records versus nsa? i argue that if you need to access it, you need to access it like that. if you don't have that capability, something that can happen. -- something bad can happen. host: that is georgia senator saxby chambliss speaking this week at a bloomberg event. let's talk about the election in syria. "the washington post" reports that john kerry, secretary of electionclared syria's "a great big zero." "secretary of state john kerry declared the election meaningless and said that it would have no impact on u.s. policy. 'the elections are non-elections. a great big zero,'he said, noting that many areas were not
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allowed to vote. 'nothing has changed between the day before the election and after.'" that is former senator and current secretary of state john kerry on an unannounced trip to lebanon. our topic this morning, congress considering nsa reform. another foreign policy topic this morning, looking at this morning's "new york times." him report that the this is over troop withdrawal from afghanistan emerges from beyond -- the criticism over troop withdrawal from afghanistan emerges from beyond the gop. country, not just
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from republican adversaries but from another quarter -- former military officers and civilian officials who worked for years to develop and defend his administration's strategy in afghanistan. with critics worry that the withdrawal schedule mr. obama has said it is so rigid and compressed that it will curtail efforts to train and advise afghan security forces. facing the possibility of a stepped-up military challenge from the taliban, those forces still suffer from serious deficiencies, they say." in "thefind that story new york times" today. steve is on the line for independents. caller: they should disband the nsa. is basically taking all our rights away. liket -- i don't even feel don't docause they
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what we really need to do. just like joe biden's son is the minister over ukraine's natural resources, and since they found oil in ukraine, or natural gas in ukraine. it is just a big sham. votes inists have the the pocket and they just put in whoever they want and whenever -- whatever rights they want to take away from us. host: christopher in albuquerque on the line for independents. caller: yeah, hi. host: hey there. caller: i wanted to make a comment about the genesis of the program. it was a knee-jerk reaction. wean understand the horror
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all felt when we saw what was happening in new york, but at the same time we have to be really clear about who the enemy was, and we take a look at trying to find out who these people are. but when we turn the light back on ourselves, we have a real problem. hadpbs program "frontline" a 2-hour special on the origins of the program at the nsa. it was almost a knee-jerk nottion -- no, it was almost a knee-jerk reaction. it was a knee-jerk reaction to the events of 9/11. and while the ideal might have been gathering useful information, he just went down to the point where they started shoving every piece of information that they could off , telephones, everything they could possibly find, and putting it inside computers.
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we do not know the depth of what exactly it was -- host: that may ask you this, though, even all the information and the things you are noting from the "frontline" program, what is the right way to move forward on this? first of all come i think we need to repeal the patriot act. i think that is the genesis of what is going on right now. i think what we need to do, we need to reform the national security agency powers. we need to bring them back in and say that there are certain things that you cannot do. all, storing information en masse in their computers. they do have the capacity and it is a growing capacity. that is one of the things that we know. they have buildings and buildings and buildings of computers now. while, you don't need all that information. what are you going to do, sif
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ting through the information? you are just looking for keywords and phrases. the thing about it is is that you cannot possibly go through all the information and take those things out. all right, want to draw your attention to a couple of comments from facebook on this topic. "surely there must be a balance between spying on americans and spying on those who mean to harm us. waynsa has certainly gone beyond what is needed to defend americans but at the same time if there were another 9/11-type attack, and would demand the government do something more." "exactly. there is a delicate balance between spying on americans and those who would seek to destroy us." "history should upon you by now that the government cannot really do anything but
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confiscate and distribute private wealth and get young men killed in pointless and only go -- illegal wars. diane on the line for republicans. caller: wow, good morning. host: good morning, diane. caller: thank you. i think it is important we have the nsa. i think they can overstep their bounds and i do believe we need reform in washington. big,nk washington is too and i do believe that -- well, that is what i believe. i believe that the nsa is important but not where they come in and listen to private phone calls or your phone calls will stop that is happened to me -- or your phone calls. that has happened to me. i would never say anything or do
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anything, so it doesn't bother me so much. when people call in, your expressions tell so much. you express when republican calls in -- you are very nice to me but there are other people who call in and you are not so nice. you are doing a great job, but your expressions tell a lot. i know you are new. host: all righty, want to look at a comment now from the project on government oversight talking about the issue of government surveillance. "we cannot expect this bill to protect host: and that is from a piece from may 2014. mike on the line for independents. caller: good morning. i love c-span.
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i can actually get it on my radio. i am in the d c area and i think it is fantastic. i cannot thank you enough for what you offer. i'm a registered democrat but i'm starting to lean independent because i am fed up with the whole process in d.c. they are spending so much time -- that other investigating -- that of the committee to investigate this and on and on. they are fiddling while rome is burning. i was in a meeting is today that had to do with the epidemic -- yesterday that had to do with the epidemic of suicide you are seeing among all kinds of groups -- veterans, native americans, teenagers. all these problems out there and you have these nincompoops in washington scurrying around and not doing anything and they act like they are doing something and play for the cameras but they are wasting their time in our time. i of 2 simple proposals. car rule, where the top 10 spots are on their forearms. have a meet and
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call and they can put them up in dorms and stay there for 2 months and the rest of the year they live in districts and do their jobs. host: this is from "the wall street journal." "top house republicans on wednesday pressed the minus to overhaul the department of veterans affairs, asking president barack obama whether he would be willing to rethink the entire system given the continuing scandal over mismanagement and the long waiting times for patients. house speaker john boehner and other gop leaders said in a letter to mr. obama that the resignation last week of the a secretary ericsson sect -- of va secretary eric shinseki does not address the fundamental problems facing the agency. they called on the white house to consider short-term measures to make it easier to fire poorly performing va employees as well as to outline a broader vision of how to fix the agency."
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jed is on the line for democrats. caller: good morning. host: morning. caller: my problem is that the nsa or program like that is a vitally needed. the same people who are concerned about oversight or being listened to or their data being collected are the ones who would be screaming bloody murder if another skyscraper came down because of terrorists. we have terrible budget problems. we cannot fund the military adequately to take action in more conventional ways. i have not heard of any of the nsa's listening data collection being used against anybody here and in the u.s. criminal system -- someone is having an affair, someone is embezzling. also i for terrorism think people should wake up and understand there is a lot of people trying to kill us out there, and we need some surveillance programs like this. host: coming up, we will discuss
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the release of sergeant bowe bergdahl and the executive action. joining us as jonathan turley, a law professor at george washington university law school . later, we will look at a recent report of the influx of foreign fighters in syria. we will be right back. >> the reason we are trying to focus on the speaker is because it is the speaker with the full majesty and weight of his position from yesterday made certain allegations which at this point he has not yet answered to. i will yield to you -- >> you have an audience. you don't normally have that.
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the interesting fact is that the remarksnor of your going back to 1970, 1972, taking out of context. you were there for one and one purpose alone, in my opinion, to imply that members of this side were un-american in their activities. you stop, you waited, your motion. would you respond? you knew that there was nobody here, you knew that there was nobody here. 2 menscam -- put those from your perspective -- give us your perspective on the 2 of them. >> speaker o'neill was really a giant. he knew the politics of a house to he kept much of it himself in terms of other members, but he obviously received a great amount of intelligence all day long from members, what was going on in different places. and he always believed that
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politics is the art of the possible, that nobody got their way all of the time, and he was a broker, within the democratic caucus and the house. what you saw was newt gingrich, who made a conscious decision that they would always be in the minority because they worked with the majority, so he started attacking bob michael, the leader, and john rhodes and everybody on that side -- >> in his own party. >> in his own party, because he said that the only avenue to the majority is through confrontation and we will take them down, and this was an argument about the misuse of tv now coming to the floor, where he would ask these rhetorical questions and make these charges come and he knew that the chamber was empty, but that time, the camera was very tight on the speaker at the time, wherever they were, and the rule came to show that the chamber was empty, and it changes the whole dynamic.
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that was a process that many years later as when this institution apart and has really -- has toured this institution apart and is really paralyzed the institution. >> congressman george miller, sunday night at 8:00 on c-span's "q&a. on booktv, live coverage of the "chicago tribune" printers row lit fest. ellis, and joseph barbara ehrenreich. sunday, the father and son relationship of bill and willie geist, and vietnam's dragon lady. the printers row lit fest, live this weekend on c-span2. booktv, television for serious readers. "> "washington journal
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continues. host: joining us now is jonathan turley, a professor at george washington university law school here in a d.c. thank you for joining us. guest: thank you bot. host: we will talk about the release of bowe bergdahl in members for 5 taliban at guantánamo bay. if the white house wants to transfer prisoners out of that facility, what do they have to do legally? guest: there is a law in which congress sets some standards. some of them are rather obvious. that is a provision saying if you released someone from guantánamo bay, you need to have the secretary of defense make certain determinations, like this is not going to come back on the united states in terms of risk, that you have taken steps to determine what is going to happen to them. these are the types of determinations that any administration would do anyway. the provision relevant in this controversy is the one that says before you make these releases
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30 days in advance you need to tell congress. has consultedtion with congress in the past, but they didn't here. when they decided to pull the trigger, congress was left in the dark. many members said, look, this is this is a violation of federal law. there is no question, i think, that this is a violation of that statute. there was no notice given. the provision doesn't have any new polls are exceptions. the administration has said various things as to why or whether it violated federal law. number one is that it really didn't violate federal law, that it certainly -- assembly interpreted it to mean that it didn't have to notify congress. that one has left a lot of people scratching their heads, that we complied with a law of notification by not giving notification. but what they are really saying is that they never really viewed this provision as constitutional
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, and when it was passed, president obama put a signing statement, something he said he would never do as a candidate, that said "i have real serious reservations about this provision." host: let's talk about this provision a little bit more, part of the national defense authorization act. that whiteeports house press secretary jay carney was asked if the president felt he was about t -- above the law. carney said absolutely not. guest: [laughs] host: you obviously have a reaction to that one. guest: that is one where the answer is obvious. if he had said that the president felt he was above the law, a lot of us would be surprised. the controversy goes beyond the ndaa provision we're talking about. before congress about a long litany of loss that the president has said he will thatnforce, or laws
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through executive order he has changed in significant ways unilaterally. many of these changes occurred after the president failed to get those changes in congress. we've had a series of hearings about the implications of that. the president in his state of the union said he was going to go it alone, that he was going to circumvent congress. as surprised as many of us who teach the constitution, the response was applause by any members, which is seemed to border on self-loathing, where the president said i am going to circumvent you. but he has and that raises separation of powers questions. the issue that went to carney goes more broadly to that, that the president has repeatedly circumvented federal law or cindy said he will not enforce federal law. that is creating a crisis in this country. .t did not start with obama this whole process of expanding presidential power certainly didn't start with him, but it
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has reached a level today that is unprecedented. host: our guest is jonathan turley of george washington university law school. host: jonathan turley, you mentioned signing statements. i want to talk about those a little bit. we will put on the screen for those watching a list of signing statements by the president and i want to get your take. june 2, 2014, obama has issued 28 sending stamens, compared to george w. bush, 228, was in bill clinton, 381, and ronald reagan, 250. what is different about the way president obama has used signing statements in contrast to his predecessors?
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guest: i have been a big critic of signing statements and that as a constitutional scholar, they make no sense to me. they are presidents attempting to rewrite laws, even though they are signing the law. president obama signed the law and said, by the way, i don't think i have to comply with this law. as you may recall, i was a big granite of president bush's signing statements, which were in my view an effort to circumvent -- a big critic of president bush's signing statements, which were in my view an effort to circumvent congress. the difference is that president obama ran on this issue, how he believed signing statements were a circumvention of congress, that they were wrong to do postop even though he has had fewer, many people elected him leaving he wouldn't engage in this type of thing. if you think that the ndaa provision is unconstitutional, you don't sign it into law. what the president did is what president bush did in the past, which is to sign it and
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then say, by the way, i don't think i will comply with the federal law. host: as our guest jonathan turley noted, it is something that president obama -- as senator obama talked about during his campaign. i want to read a quotation from him from a 2008. host: obviously, you can't get into the president's thinking, but why do you think there's been such a shift from what he he does in and what 2014? guest: look, i voted for president obama. i am from chicago and i was happy to vote for him. but he's not the first to change when in office. the president has done a number of things effort from what he promised in the campaign. for civil libertarians like myself, he has been a nightmare in terms of what has happened with the civil liberties area. he is not only contained the
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policies but expanded them -- things like the kill list policy, surveillance issues. this is something that happens in the oval office, quite frankly. this is not the world's most principle for him -- principled forum, quite quickly. presidents in their second term tend to focus on the legacy and they view these issues as niceties, technicalities. even as someone who taught the constitution, there is this corrosive effect. and as someone who is familiar with obama as a senator and president, even though i voted for him, i am a columnist for "usa today" and i wrote a column after his first election and said you know, people have the wrong idea about this man. even though i voted for him,, principles of this type not -- areing barack obama not motivating barack obama as much as programs.
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that is a positive aspect of his personality, but he has never by what oftented seemed abstract principles like separation of powers. he is much more interested in getting things done. i think the american people like that about him. the problem is when you depart somewhat from those principles that you are creating a fundamental change in our system. that is what is dangerous. i told congress that we are now at a constitutional tipping point. our system is changing. he did not start with president obama, but it is changing, in my view, in a dangerous way and we are not having a debate about it. host: our guest is jonathan turley of george washington university law school. first caller is kathleen on the line for democrats. caller: hi, mr. turley. i've followed would you say and write for years now, especially during the bush administration and the signing statements and then and some of the actions. in regard to this or golf situation,- bergdahl
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i am listening to chris matthews and joe scarborough and these guys who have never served in the military and don't have children serving in the military screaming about president obama's decision. what is fascinating to me about all these programs -- i have to say, a little bit "washington journal" as well -- ony don't have a lot of vets who have been in these situations. a lot of us who have never served have no idea what it is like to be in the situation that bergdahl was in. i am not condoning whatsoever what he allegedly did. but if president obama were to leave him there, wouldn't that be exactly what we are complaining or people are complaining about bergdahl doing, abandoning his comrades or whatever? do whathink they had to they could do to get him released, because that is just an example of we don't leave people behind, even though, ok,
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bergdahl, whatever they find out through the hearings. the other thing i've become aware of this what our soldiers have really gone through by listening to the winter soldier congressional hearings. i just want to encourage joe scarborough, this matthews, "washington journal" to have actual vets on and not let these situations with our vets get so extreme -- for instance, with the v.a. situation -- and then scream about everything. guest: well, it's an interesting comment. first of all, i didn't make it to boy scouts so i am hardly a person to hold forth on what happens to vets, although i want to encourage one thing for you to think about. i don't think it is fair to tell folks that they can't comment on subjects related to military unless they have served. criticism,ng a including of many democrats,
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from people that were arguing against cuts in the military well, you can't really talk to because you haven't been in uniform. these are important public policy issues and i think that some of the aspects of this are worthy of public debate. i think that you are right when it comes to boots on the ground come that is a perspective that we need to hear from veterans. as to the release itself, i happen to agree, even though i disagree with many of the actions that president obama has taken -- circumvention of the separation of powers -- i happen to agree with many of his policies, so i am divided. i happen to agree with him on things like the environmental area and other areas like doma, where he has taken these steps. but as a constitutional scholar, he concerns me a great deal. how he ended up in the hands of the taliban is irrelevant. we did need to get him back. we can deal with that issue now as to whether he did desert.
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that is really, i don't think, appropriate for folks to say we should have left him over there. debate is acy legitimate one. when you look at these 5 individuals, there are obviously that allbe some deals of us would agree would be too high. the deal was everyone should be released from guantánamo bay and we should leave the country, there would be a question as to whether that is a price too high . that is a legitimate issue of public debate. host: burlington, north carolina. debbie is on the line for republicans. much.: thank you so thank you, c-span, for allowing me to talk to this gentleman also i wish i could have an hour with him. guest: [laughs] mr. turley, our forefathers gave us our constitutional form of government with the balance of power between three branches of government so that we the people would be no longer under the
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rule of the king. with this in mind come and do you feel like our president has acted in an imperialistic manner by bypassing a law himself signed into being, and if so, that hisdo you feel action is treasonous in nature worthy of impeachment? thank you, and god bless. thet: well, first of all term "imperial presidency" i have used in testimony before congress and certainly my writings. it is a little different than people think of. when we talk about the emergence of an imperial presidency, we are not really saying that president obama wants to be a tyrant or a king. i don't think he does, i don't think it is in him. i don't think he wants to be tyrannical in any sense. but imperial presidency means something that should concern many americans, which is this all most makes and -- almost nixonian concept of a president
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who can act unilaterally, who becomes a government unto himself. what is fascinating is that president obama has encompassed omplished many of those aspects -- i spoke on the anniversary of the watergate congress at the national press club, and in the audience were many survivors of the watergate scandal. i changed my speech at the last minute and said, how did nixon win? or so, looking out on that audience, just that morning the papers showed president obama doing many of the things that were in nixon's articles of impeachment, the unilateral action that nixon claimed. those powers are being used openly. the thing i asked the audience is what has changed? i think we have changed to some degree. the american people have become more passive. there is a danger to this. i think the reason might president obama has succeeded is he is very likable, that many
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people do like him. asy people don't, but he h a power of personality and even his staunchest critics don't view him as wanting tyrannical power. having said all that, i think it is dangerous, the trend we are going. we are seeing our system change. we have a system designed for 3 equal branches and people understand the separation of powers. it is not to protect the interests of these institutions. separation of powers is not there to protect congress or the white house or the court. it is designed to protect individual liberty. the framers believed that the concentration of power would bring tyranny, would bring abuse. it created a system that it believes would stop that aggregation or concentration of power. we have lost it. the president is increasingly acting like a government unto himself, and while you can agree with this president -- one thing i have pulled democrats in congress is this is not going to
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be our last position, and he does not have a lot of time left in office, but these powers will last, and what you say when the next president comes in and says "i will suspend environmental laws, or discrimination laws." what will you have to object at that point? the: we were talking about evolution of members of congress with regard to the release of sergeant bergdahl. i want to read a couple of tweets from members and get your reaction overall.
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host: your thoughts? guest: there has been an evolution you have seen on the hill will stop a lot of democrats seem to be walking away from the deal a bit. there is certainly a coalescing of views in congress that it could have been consulted, and i , and ihat -- or notified think that is manifestly true. the white house decided not to tell congress i think for political reasons, to be honest. they did in fact raise this issue years ago but whether they people fortaliban bergdahl, and they got pushed back from members of both parties. i think what you see in the backlash following the deal is the most likely reason they didn't notify congress, that there is a sticker shock that from these 5 guys.
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some were viewed as having connections with al qaeda. one is particularly bad in terms of his connection to the deaths of hundreds, maybe thousands of people, but certainly the dislocation of thousands. passedny is the law was precisely for this type of the case. the law was passed to allow congress to come in. one of the things i've emphasized in testimony to congress is that the framers were right. we end up with a better government when things are filtered through the separation of powers, through these new three branches. dsmetimes a president nee to hear these things. the separation of powers forces congress, to engage and this would have been a really good idea. the irony is he could have done it anyway. all you have to do is notify them and he could have worked out these issues and he would be in a better political place if he had done that. host: saint augustine, florida. owen is on the line for independents.
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caller: thank you for taking my call. i do think that the guy thinks he is a king and above the law, and all these scandals -- irs, know nothingdidn't about anything. it is like the guy is inept or something. he is the president of the united states. if i was the ceo of a company, i would fire people below me if spying,ike the irs, spying on the news media, and when it all comes out, you don't know anything. and then he pulls this stuff with not notifying congress with the bergdahl thing. the guy does think he is above the law. holds nobody accountable, he doesn't hold himself accountable. it is like the guy is a tyrant or something. guest: well, first of all, if by a both a lot you mean he thinks he can sadly disregard federal law, i'm afraid that is manifestly true, because he has done that. in the health care area, the
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gambling act, immigration, these are areas where the administration went to congress, asked for changes, was not successful, and he then went and ordered those changes unilaterally. the is a direct attack on separation of powers. many of these things in my view are legislative. the question you raise is a good one. i am saying i do not think it is in his nature. i do not think he is viewing this as a self-aggrandizing move. he rationalizes this. at fault here. a president went to congress in the state of the union and said i am going to go it alone. and you had half of congress applauding wildly that they were about to be made into a functional non-entity. i think the framers would have been horrified. they assume that regardless of your party that people in togress would fight mightily
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protect their institutions. that is what has changed. there used to be people like harry byrd in the senate, who often did fight with democratic presidents, fought for the separation of powers. you do not have that anymore. the members particularly in the senate today are much more in lockstep with the party. even when they see their own authority being drained away. in my view, it is a very foolish thing. this president has only a couple years left, and these democrats will rue the day that they remained silent as their authority was drained away. there is no guarantee who our next president is, what this is not going to be our last one and these powers will remain. presidents do not tend to give back power. beast," thee daily
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headline "the real reason the u.s. did not rescue bowe bergdahl -- did not arrest bowe bergdahl." u.s. special operative's would have had to give up one dozen possible hideouts in order to have a chance of rescuing him, according to u.s. officials who often -- who also say that the obama administration did not want to risk the political unilateralm another u.s. raid, like a navy seal raid that killed osama bin laden in 2011. guest: that sounds quite logical. none of us want to see soldiers put into harm's way unless we and a clear target operation. you know, the bin laden laden still remains controversial legally. we did go into another nation without their approval and carry out a military operation.
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we did kill people within pakistan. while we feel that was justified, many around the world view that as a clear violation of international law. imagine if mexico did that, they came in and took out a guy in san diego and went across the border. we would be calling for a war. the reluctance to engage in these types of multiple operations in pakistan makes a lot of sense. thatis also interesting is we still do not know -- there are some people who have said that people died looking for bergdahl afterr he disappeared. some of the folks in his unit certainly believed that. that is another dimension the white house is balancing. dalton,t's go to georgia, where jimmy is on the line for republicans. youer: i wanted to give three questions. number one, i just wonder why
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the congress is not going to impeach obama. he has done a lot on a number of occasions. none of the soldiers of his fellowship don't think bergdahl is a hero, they think he is a traitor. and the other question -- what is the deal between this trade -- the deal on this trade between sergeant bergdahl and the taliban? guest: people are sort of getting their arms around the question of whether this was a pay. too hi to as to the reaction of congress, this is something i find truly mystifying. i have been around congress for a long time since the days i was a congressional page, and i have
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seen a change in congress. there used to be a core of members who did fight for the separation of powers regardless of who was in the white house. they simply have changed. congress was a -- congress is a different place. i do not think it is a better place. my concern is we have not only congress that is increasingly passive in the face of presidential overreach. we also have courts that have adopted the policies and doctrines of avoidance, so the courts have removed themselves from any of these separation of powers fights. the result is what the framers never thought would happen. extraordinaryally expansion of presidential power in our country. neither of the other two branches are actively checking that power. the result is a new system is emerging, one very different from what the framers intended. and i think one that is less stable. that separate nation -- that
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doctrine isf powers what has given us the stability. it is why we have lasted when other systems have not. these are changes that are so fundamental and important, it is established -- it is astonishing that we have not had a debate about this. host: our guest is jonathan turley of the george washington university law school. an e-mail question came in that is right at the heart of what you are saying -- guest: he is, but that is not a good enough excuse. he is saying congress is not acting so i am acting alone, and many people applauded that. that truly mystifies me. first of all, there is a reason we cannot get things done today. we are a divided nation. we are deeply divided on these issues. it so happens in the areas where
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the president is acting unilaterally are those issues where we are divided -- immigration, health care, and the like. those are areas we cannot get a national consensus. we are a representative democracy, and it does reflect those divisions. when we are divided, fewer things get done. that might not be such a bad thing because it is better to wait for when things come together that here is your answer. tried to obama says i get congress to do this and they did not do what i wanted them to do, so i go it alone. there is no license to go it alone in the madisonian system. congress is so dysfunctional -- the framers designed this system for bad times because they lived in bad times. when people say, you know, it is like they want to kill each other in congress -- they were actually trying to kill each other back in the time of the framers. they had the alien sedition act.
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theyactually want to -- actually wanted to kill each other. this is precisely the time this system was designed for. the one argument i have little patience with from the white house is that he has a license to do that because congress will not do what he wants them to do. host: in florida, mike is on the line for independents. caller: mr. turley, it is an honor. i have watched you time and again in front of subcommittees. the one that jumped out at me irsyour response to the subcommittee in the senate when you basically leveled some of these important accusations. herein lies the conundrum, or at least i think it is. about, in talked congress, on the congressional side, not the senate side -- if hasnot mistaken, stuff that
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been passed up. there has been roadblocks on a variety of issues pertaining to this. on the flip side you see the president going through using czars, executive actions, i passing everything. you state clearly, this is dangerous and how do we address it. but right now there is a roadblock between the congressional sides that will never allow it to be addressed. look at the stuff that has come out in the last six months and all the screaming and hollering. at the end of the day, what is resolved about it? nothing. people get frustrated by it. if you are somebody who picks up a newspaper a couple minutes ago -- a couple minutes a day, 50% probably do not know what is going on. like you say, they just want to see something happen.
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you go, guys, it could be bad. that is my comment, sir. guest: it is an excellent comment. it is funny when people say i just want to get something done. in a madisonian system, it is more important often how you do something than what you do. that is why the democrats are acting so foolishly. they have tossed aside many of the things that defined them as a party. certainly many of the things that protect them as a party, and those means are important. for the short term gains they are going to pay a heavy price. when the democrats killed the filibuster rule with the regard to nominations, i thought that was the most foolish thing i had seen in my life. democrats could very well be in the minority in a couple of asideand they just tossed the most important protection they would have. i did not think that was a price worth paying. the reason things are not going
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to get done and it is not going to change, we are divided. that division is going to take a while for us to come together on some issues. but that is not how the system was supposed to work ultimately. the framers expected congress to be divided on some occasions. what they did not expect is for the court system to remove itself from this. vent thatary is that allows for these pressures to be funneled into judicial review. as i have written as an academic, this crisis is the product of the courts removing themselves from their constitutional function. when people blame the two parties for all the stuff going on on the hill, i take a less judgmental view of the parties. i do not think it is their fault. when the courts say we are not going to get involved, you leave the parties to just muscle politics. you leave them to do these stupid, juvenile type of things because the courts are not
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resolving the constitutional questions. i frankly blame the courts in terms of what we are seeing today, and that is where our focus has to be. seeing the courts engage more and help the find those lines of separation. then that clarity will decrease a lot of this foolishness. to a couple to go of tweets and get your comment on them. host: another tweet i would like to look at is from dana. host: your thoughts on either of those? guest: first of all, the white house has come out with various rationalize stations for why he violated law. risk a leakant to from congress. that is the least persuasive of the rationale.
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if that is their rationale, they could refuse to comply with a host of areas. with any disclosures and the national security area. it also borders on defamation. i have a lot of criticism of the senate and house intelligence committees because they are, in my view, a rubber stamp in many regards to the national security complex. but to say that you cannot inform someone like diane feinstein and others about this operation is perfectly ludicrous. these are disclosures that are made in skiffs, special rooms of cleared individuals. they are overseen by security officers. there has not been this type of leaking of the information. i don't think people should tolerate that type of argument. -- a a post-rasul is a post-rationalization of violating federal law. that seems closer to the mark. the argumentout
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that the white house needed to move quickly and that is why certain things did not happen? there is no evidence to support that thus far, but more importantly, they did raise this years ago. this has been going on for literally years. i am very skeptical that they could not 30 days ago say we are moving very close to a deal, or we intend to move forward with this deal. the last time they raised this years ago they got a serious pushback where people started to raise concerns like we are seeing today. i think that pushback is the reason we did not see notification. host: we talk a lot about congress. but listen to senate majority leader harry reid, speaking yesterday on the senate floor, suggesting there may be was another avenue. a victory fornot president obama, it is a victory for soldiers, their
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families, and our great country. president obama sought to that. mr. president, there are questions regarding sergeant bergdahl's disappearance. --se are issues that were that will be resolved by the united states army and not monday morning quarterbacks on capitol hill. many just say this. the central argument -- let's assume bergdahl did violate his sworn oath. what do we do? do we meet out justice to an american soldier? as the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff has said yesterday and the day before, if he has done something wrong, military justice will step in and take care of that violation if in fact there was one. i don't know, but certainly that is a better approach than having the taliban do it. i always choose the justice system of the united states
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army, american justice, every time. we see the brutality of the taliban and. -- of the taliban. what is the alternative? would any american honestly a u.s. soldier remain in captivity until all the questions have been answered? of course not. states, we rescued our soldiers first and ask questions later. jonathan turley, your thoughts? some of that i don't think anyone would necessarily disagree with. we do have this strong commitment to our soldiers thomas to bring them home -- to our soldiers, to bring them home. the price that should be paid to it, i leave that to other folks. i really do not know. what i find fascinating about his comments is how he brushes over the federal law that was passed while he was in the
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senate signed by this president and ignored. that is part and parcel to what we have been talking about. this is not a huge violation of federal law in the sense of talking about impeachment or things like that. that is not going to happen. but this is a mantra of the white house, to say that we just simply felt that we could not comply with federal law. you are not allowed to make that decision. but what is fascinating with congressional leaders who are bracing -- who are embracing this uber presidency, this new presidency, certainly unilaterally with absolute power in certain areas. it is like the democratic party in the nixon era, who fought very hard for the separation of powers. this will come back to haunt them. the polls are not good for the democrats, and they are creating a horrific situation for
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themselves. if they lose the senate and the white house. host: as a counterpoint to what senate majority leader harry reid said, this op-ed from the editorial board of "the wall street journal" -- host: they say the larger problem is that esther obama treats foreign -- that mr. obama treats foreign policy as a calculus of the political system. he could more easily sell the prisoner swap, which would then help empty guantanamo so he could fulfill that campaign promise, too. i wouldhe one thing
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agree with is that the handling of this has been remarkably ham-handed. it has been remarkably poor. i am surprised by it because i would have looked at this and thought no matter how this goes there are you -- there is going to be serious backlash. but the white house seems to be taken by surprise. what strikes me as odd is the different rationale that has come out of the white house, machine-gun like. some members of the administration called democrats and said we violated the law and we are sorry. while those calls were being afterward, youy had other people going on the air and saying we did not violate the law, we interpreted it. and others say the reason we did is not raising the constitutional question but because we thought we could not trust you. these are all coming from different directions, none of which are particularly persuasive. together, they undermine any quad ability -- they undermine
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any credibility for the white house. they lack someone who is going to keep them on message but also to make sure that the message can withstand debate. the white house often tends to throw different messages out to see what succeeds, and they have an army of folks that go out there and appear on the cable system. that is a very good system for a political campaign. it is not very good in the separation of powers fight where people are looking for the principal line, the limiting principle that you are maintaining. host: let's go to international falls, minnesota. paul is on our democrat line. yes, good morning. i am calling to say that we are talking constitutional law and we have a president that we just war overf who went to false pretenses.
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and we picked up all these prisoners. 13 years ago. you are upset that we are getting rid of five of them? it don't make sense. all, i had a lot of problems. i oppose both of the wars. i certainly agree with that. but i do not think it is enough for democrats to continue to say george w. bush is. this is a president in his second term. he is an adult and he owns these decisions. this mantra that we are referring to george w. bush, i think it is losing its resonance in terms of how convincing it is. there is an interesting dynamic with gitmo. i agree with the president that gitmo should be closed. i have been a critic of gitmo for a long time.
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ifinteresting dimension is, you are going to close gitmo, i actually thought the spin that was going to come out -- we have determined that obviously we cannot try these guys, otherwise we would have tried them. we are going to shut down gitmo, which means we are going to have to do something with these guys, and we got value out of them. i expected that sort of to be the line. it was not. but it does force attention again on gitmo. that is, what are we going to do with all these people? he has been a disaster. the military tribunals have been a disaster. neither partyy, in congress wants to be seen as facilitating the closure of gitmo and the release of these individuals. so we have a real political problem here. we are going to take a look at the roster of current detainees in guantánamo bay. are from yemen, 12 from
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afghanistan, 10 from saudi arabia, six from pakistan. and then 33 are other. --weet from jodi guest: that is a very interesting question. it is getting lost in the more pressing issues of the violation of law and the price for it but this is the concern that many of us have had with gitmo for a long time. gitmo is a place that was created by george bush, maintained in the obama administration that was for a reason on the other side of our border. george bush was arguing that if we put it on the other side of the border, he would have absolutely true over this facility. we have a facility that clearly violates international law. we are holding people without trial, indefinitely. in many cases we are holding them at the secret behest of other countries who do not want
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them to show up, return. the problem is where the legal principle lies in my criticism of president obama is that when he looked at gitmo he said he wanted to close it. but with regard to military tribunals, which some of us view which some of us view as a violation of law, he reserve that right. he said i will continue this role, this sort of caesar-like role, that you go to a trial and you do -- you go through one that i created. host: sunday morning at 9:15 eastern carl rosenberg discussing this particular issue. let's go to vallejo, california, where don is on the line for democrats. guest: good morning. you sure do change your program.
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you used to let a whole lot of people call-in. i guess you want to be more like greta. host: go right ahead. guest: i was calling with regard to this guy. talked about how he voted for president obama. he did not vote for obama. he criticizes him more than anybody i ever heard. then you have congress, talking about them being so dysfunctional. you know why they are dysfunctional. they are not going to do nothing for no lack president. nothing is going to get done. you wait until this white president comes in. you will hear nothing else about no president doing nothing. congressrst of all, has done some things for this president. -- that is a continuation of rather lethal how ticks, and this call reflects those types of emotions. as to voting for president obama, i did not have any
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problems with voting for him for the first time. but i think this is the problem for democrats. they have to avoid a cult of personality. they have to avoid feeling that it is disloyal to their values when we first elected president obama to then criticize him. we have to separate ourselves from our personal views, our personal respect for someone like president obama and concerns about our constitutional system. what is being burned here is the very bridge we are standing on, and we are going to miss it when we have bad times ahead. host: we had just a couple minutes left with jonathan turley of the george washington university law school. mike is from des moines, iowa, on the line for independents. caller: i believe this trade for bergdahl was the most ludicrous thing that could happen. tell me this -- a couple of the
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filth that was traded for him, weren't they wanted for war crimes? guest: a couple of them appeared on international lists and are considered to be possible war criminals. i was surprised with who was released. these are really high ranking taliban. at least two of them have very plausible war crimes allegations against them. so i was taken aback when i saw the actual list. host: fayetteville, north carolina. robert is on the line for republicans. caller: good morning, america. i just wanted to say that i have celebrationth the of bergdahl. he was celebrated in the rose garden, followed up by the comments by susan rice saying that he served with distinction.
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after serving in the military, you are always inculcated with the first standing order that you do not leave your post until properly relieved. we have to bring him back and i understand bringing him back because he is an american soldier. but to have him celebrated and his father standing next to him, and then i found out that he made these comments on twitter that was released -- i said, oh, my goodness, he has given me the impression that he is now sympathizing with the taliban have american trained taliban in the united states of america. the celebration of his release. it should have been done quietly and discreetly because he has some serious questions to answer he comes back on our
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soil. a lot of democrats in congress would privately agree with that. the optics are not good. a white house seems to have put itself in the most exposed possible way without knowing what the backlash would be. that is what you are hearing in terms of grumbling from members of congress on the democratic side, that this could not have been done to maximize the damage more. i have to say we have to be very careful. i do not know what happened with sergeant bergdahl. i think there are reasonable questions as to why he would walk away from the base. that raises questions of desertion. housethink what the right -- what the white house is trying to do is say as of now he has not been convicted of any type of desertion. he did serve his country over there, and we will have to drill down on the conditions under which he left. but i do agree, and i think democrats would agree, that the
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white house walked into a buzz saw here. they did not seem to see it coming, which strikes me as being very odd. this white house has had serious trouble in looking down the road, even just a few steps down the road. most of us would have assumed the opposite. the: jonathan turley is professor of law at the georgetown university school of law. thank you. country'snce the civil war. soufan garrett of the roup will join us next. now let's get an update from c-span radio. -- ae taliban commander taliban commander close to the negotiations over the release of u.s. army sergeant bowe bergdahl the "time" magazine that
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deal to secure his release has made it more appealing for fighters to capture soldiers and other high-value targets, saying it is better to kidnap one person like bergdahl then kidnapping hundreds of useless people. will workw everybody hard to capture such an important bird. the commander of u.s. forces in south korea is apologizing for what he refers to as a possible theft of personal information of thousands of south koreans employed by the american command from two databases. the u.s. military says no classified military data was compromised. south korea has been a frequent target of cyber attacks, some blamed by north korea, which denies involvement. the united states has around 2800 soldiers in south korea as a deterrent against the north. general motors is set to release a report today on the faulty ignition switches in small cars
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that were responsible for at least 13 deaths. former u.s. attorney anton belugas will reportedly announce that safety officials knew about the problem for at least a decade. the report will outline why the delay in reporting the problem happened and who is responsible. we will keep you updated on that story. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. on a lonely, windswept point on the northern shore of france, the air is soft but 40 years ago at this moment the air was dense with smoke and the cries of men. the air was filled with the crack of rifle fire and the roar of cannon. at dawn on the morning of june 6, 1944, 225 rangers jumped off the british landing craft and ran to the bottom of these cliffs. their mission was one of the most difficult and daring of the to climb these sheer
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and desolate cliffs and take out the enemy guns. the allies had been told that some of the mightiest of these guns were here and they would be trained on the beaches to stop the allied advance. the rangers looked up and saw the enemy soldiers at the edge of the cliffs shooting down with them with machine guns and throwing grenades, and the american rangers began to climb. american history tv will mark the 70th anniversary of the d-day invasion of normandy, starting eastern on saturday. that is followed at 11:30 by author and historian craig symonds, who will discuss his book. at 1230 he will take your questions and comments life. and 1:30, a look back at presidential speeches commemorating the day. all on american history tv, saturday on c-span3. "washington journal" continues. host: in this segment we will
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discuss the conflict in syria. one to discuss a new report foreign fighters there is richard barrett, senior vice president at the soufan group. thank you for joining us this morning. guest: it is a pleasure. host: your report says in just three years 12,000 foreign fighters have traveled to syria. what does that number tell us? 12,000it is at least from all countries. their is about 81 countries, or who areng there nationals of the country, have gone to syria. that is a huge number. from 1979 to the fall of the 2001, maybe about 10,000 foreigners went to help out. so we are already in excess of that, and we are already three years in of the syrian war, which could last a great deal longer. rise what accounts for the
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, why there are so many here? , -- ofof course it's course, syria is much more accessible. whereas if you are coming from the other direction, from jordan or iraq. some of the other things that account for it is the wide public city, particularly in extremely's -- in extremist circles, particularly with these issues of international conflict , the oppression of muslim communities and things like that. there is a younger group of people who have been attracted to this role then perhaps were attracted to afghanistan. host: what do you think accounts for the age difference? report uses social media. are there other mitigating factors? guest: just the interconnectivity of people generally. 25 agein this 15 to
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group, which is a very young age group to go off to war, they see themselves as participants, as people who can make an impact on society, perhaps more than 1970'sdid in the late and early 1980's. that may be a general social phenomenon, but it seems true in syria, that people are prepared to risk their lives for the much younger age. our guest is richard barrett, senior vice president at the soufan group, out with a new report that looks at foreign fighters and the conflict in syria. 202-epublicans number is 585-3881. for democrats, 202-585-3880. 202-585-3882.ts, talk about where the fighters going into syria are coming from and what they want.
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guest: the great majority are coming from the arab world. arabia, closeaudi to 3000 people who have already gone to fight. tunisia has extraordinarily high numbers. are 3000 or so who have come from western countries, or dominantly western europe but also canada, the united states, australia, and new zealand. what do they want? i think what they want is a sense of purpose, fulfillment, engagement, a sense of belonging perhaps more than anything else. many of these people seem confused about what is going on in their own countries, perhaps where they fit in. in saudi arabia, on one hand they are taught to believe in sunni typence of islam, and yet the government is quite strict in the limits to which they can practice that.
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so maybe they are thinking there are other places we can go to fulfill what we see as our religious obligation. that may be putting it strongly, but it is unattractive fight for those who take religion seriously, and who feel they are doing something useful for their religion. and for the europeans, even more so that they feel that they need some sense of belonging which they do not get in their country. perhaps they are second or third generation immigrants, looking for meaning in their life, greater than they have have already. for every individual it is different, but these sort of themes seem to be fairly common among them. host: earlier in our conversation you mentioned the number of foreign fighters coming from western nations, including here in the united states. talk specifically about those coming from the united states. how many are there, and what is theat tell us, and
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government doing anything about this? certainly more than 70, perhaps around 100 have come from the united states. a 22-year-old from florida, pretty normal, took religion quite seriously, but very much in the mainstream, apparently. involved in sports, lots of friends, was not a social misfit, and yet he was subject to this way of thinking, that somehow by killing yourself and by killing other people you would achieve something noble and special. so you have people from that and -- from that and -- from that end. and then from the somali community, too, people have gone to syria.
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no family connections to syria, family connections, but just feeling that they are part of the community and they should be doing something about it. but i would not stress at this point that so many of those people, perhaps almost all of those people going are not going as terrorists. they are going to help out and they think they are doing a good thing. the danger is that when they are there, they get further radicalized and persuaded that they can be more effective by coming back to the united states from another country and attacking there. host: one of the things that fascinated me about this report is that it has to be really challenging to be able to quantify and account how many foreign fighters there are. how did you go about doing that? guest: it is difficult to make an accurate count, and certainly we were in touch with a lot of government officials, particularly security services, what their best ideas were of
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the numbers. for them it is really hard because so many of these people have gone, and they have no previous criminal record or record with extremist groups. so really they are guessing as well. by lookingn extent at social media, tracking investigations, looking at death notices, things like that. they kind of get a fairly accurate idea to quantify the people who are going. many countries do not have any idea at all, just a rough guess that they have some nationals who may come back and be a problem. quantifying overall -- well, when we added up all the figures that officials had, we came to a figure of 11,000 or so. it was fair to assume that the other 50 or 60 countries would have another 1000 between them. host: let's go to our first call for this segment. germantown, maryland. mike is on the line for
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independents. caller: thank you for taking my call. i missed the first few minutes of your guest., theinfo war in syria is not about rebels versus assad, this is all about and the israeli mossad training and hiring mercenaries to attack assad so they can get him under control of the european union and the central bankers. this is all a phony war. this is all about -- just like we backed the fascists in ukraine that stage the coup there. we are trying to take over syria to use as a staging ground to possibly attack iran. all those rebels are higher mercenaries trained by the cia.
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the two axis of evil is washington, d c, tel aviv, and the city of london. host: your thoughts? the vast majority of people fighting in syria are syrians, a huge number of syrians. this civil war began in 2011 with protests that were perfectly peaceful. they were protests with regard to the arab spring, many other countries in the area. it was by the summer of that year that the extraordinarily harsh response of the c ring government, made people realize there was no way that peaceful protest was going to change in syria and they had to print -- they had to defend themselves, and they had to attack on the other hand to achieve some sort of change. three years on from there, we are facing a situation where there is probably about 150,000 syrians under arms fighting the
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assad regime. that, we nowng know there are small groups of people who have been trained by outside forces. forces,anced by outside not necessarily western ones but other countries interested in this fight. but without that vast amount of syrians, ordinary syrians who have taken up arms, who want to get rid of their president, there would not be a civil war. just not be a small group of people causing this damage and havoc. western countries, other they want towell, see this on the back of president assad. that cannot be done -- this war insided by the people syria themselves agreeing to some sort of way forward. that seems a long way off with
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the engagement of russia on one hand, the united states, iran, saudi arabia -- that all has an effect. but essentially no assessment will be sustainable without support of the syrian people. host: the next caller is in cleveland, ohio. jeremiah is on our line for independents. caller: good morning. i just wanted to double down on one of the other callers' comments. because rarely on c-span do we have really informed callers calling and giving concrete data points. syria definitely is a proxy war. the ambassador in benghazi, libya, it was a hit that went terribly wrong, and they were fundamental -- they were in syria andpons all the foreign people that are
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there that are not a real civil war they could be a was having with muammar gaddafi. the cobol of the globalist thought process, which was a main -- the cabal of the globalist thought process -- i just want to double down for the c-span has notse given a lot of coverage concerning the actual armament of al qaeda, on record, through libya -- that is why the ambassador was killed in libya, because it was a hit. host: richard barrett, your take? thing abouturious al qaeda is that there is no country in the world that supports al qaeda. al qaeda is a very negative force in both international affairs and regional affairs locally. al qaeda's exploitation of people's vulnerabilities,
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persuasions that their own personal misfortunes are tied up in a global sort of campaign, they have been very successful in that. as a result they have done a beforeeal of damage, 2001 when we had the east african bombings and in nairobi and kenya in 1998. and even after that, the uss cole attack and other attacks. they are determined to take this battle, which many groups have toght against local regimes fight what they call the far enemy, the united states and other western countries. who arese countries most opposed to the united states, there are no countries who would support al qaeda and this way of fighting. russia, for example, they have huge problems.
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who are very closely allied to china. -- to al qaeda. even in china, there are problems recently with the markets and so on. they are very much closely allied -- are not closely allied with al qaeda. there is no country that wants to support them. want to find some way to defeat them with the support of the united nations. other terrorist groups may be supported by foreign countries. that is hard to say, though, in all cases. but i don't think that you are right to think that somehow al qaeda is an expression of some sort of global conspiracy. this is a popular thought, particularly in some areas of the middle east. host: you talk about death notices. picturen you include, a of a dutch fighter that was
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widely circulated by fellow fighters after his death. the question it raises for me is, is this the kind of thing that can be used to encourage more people to join these foreign conflicts, to get involved? what kind of role do they play? it is something i have not seen anywhere else. guest: it is odd. one of the interesting features of the people who go to fight in syria, they sort of exist in their own information bubble. they did not pay much attention to the mainstream media, even stuff youtube, facebook, like that. they are really just interested in people reporting from syria and talking about syria from that perspective of these groups assad.g president so you have got somebody like that picture, which was a fighter in the netherlands who got killed. he had been very active, that man. he had started up a magazine particularly for people interested in the extremist
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views in the syrian war. he had been giving interviews to newspapers in syria. he was encouraging people that this is real, important, and this is something that you as an individual can contribute to. this may be putting it strongly, but that sort of publicity is accessible to anyone, even somebody who has had no involvement with anything at all. you can see the trajectory of that man being a trajectory they can easily follow. host: let's take another call from hannah in athens, ohio, on the line for democrats. caller: i'm calling from dayton, ohio. the leverage, both in the bush administration. the bushelieve quit
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administration just before the invasion. he was a former cia middle east analyst. they have stated several years ago that 50% of the syrian people support a side -- support assad. that he was willing to do a deal where there were shared powers. and they also talk about -- well, they and professor juan cole at informed comment -- talk about part of what we are fueling is the destabilization of the middle east for u.s. and israeli interests. and that by supporting forces that we don't know who they are through military intelligence via different pathways, that we don't really are supporting in syria there. so you talk about the assad thing, he would share powers,
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50% of the people support a side. i have one more thing about -- you mentioned al qaeda. wrote a book called "the price of loyalty," where he talked about former secretary of the treasury paul o'neill, starting to investigate saudi arabian connections with supporting of financial support of al qaeda. so if you could talk about that as well? all, thell, first of power,y assad to share the united nations has had several rounds of talks trying to engage the syrian government alongside the rebels to talk about sharing agreements. the friends of syria, which is a group of many states around the world, including the united states and russia and so on, sorted out a way forward that there would be a transitional government, a government of
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transition or a process that would lead to a sharing of power is essentially between all sections of syrian society, but it would require bashar al-assad to leave. he refused to accept that. he said, no, i am going to stay. if these guys want to give up, we can sort that out. the problem with that was the whole raison d'être of the civil war was to get rid of him. he has ruled so fiercely over the years. but there have been tremendous efforts to try to negotiate some sort of settlement, but it is in no one's interest to keep that war going. it is incredibly destructive not only to syria and the cohesion's there, but also to the regional stability. that leads into your second question about the issue of middle east stability. is intable middle east
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absolutely nobody's interest as well. there is this proxy war going on --ween saudi arabia and iraq a sunni way of seeing things and a shiite way of seeing things. that is destructive, too. iranaudi arabia and realize their limits, the diminishing returns of pushing things too far. lebanon is a fundamentally unstable society because of the different interests there. it is important for israel to keep some level of stability in lebanon. turkey, too, now being affected to a certain extent. jordan, a country with deep social divides, it would not be in anyone's interest. what is going on in iraq is extremely destructive, not just to iraq but middle eastern security. we third question about don't know who we are supporting, we don't know quite
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what we are getting into, i think is a valid one. that showed itself in many conflicts around the world. but in iraq, i think what the iraqi people themselves have said we have had enough of this. if you help us defeat these people, we will do our best to do so. that was a sensible backing of a group that had some impact, some ability to sort the situation out. but the final point about the financing of al qaeda -- unfortunately, there are several ways in which al qaeda manages to get money. donors still who believe that what al qaeda stands for is right in terms of financial support, and also in places like iraq and syria, there is control of territory, and that gives you some ability -- well, i would not call them raising taxes, but to intimidate
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businesses and extort money from businesses, stuff like that. to govern the commercial interests of the people subjugated to your rule. so there are lots of different ways that they are getting finances, and you could say they are self financing, and it removes from our hands one of the chokepoints that could have stifled. host: let's go to the republicans lie where john is on the line from skokie, illinois. caller: good morning. my name is john. al-assad --t bashar we are syrian. they burn our church, they kill our bishop. killing christians.
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the syrian people, in syria -- bashar al-assad, he takes care of all christians. he was a great president of all the middle east for all christian people. he we condemn him because does not want to house the muslim brotherhood and its -- the muslim brotherhood in syria? they kill christian people, burned villages of christian people. people suffer. now we do not have no place to go. my people have no place to go. go to turkey, they cannot keep them there for long, ok? what are we going to do? are we going to have al qaeda killed a christian people and the syrian people? host: john, do you still have myily in syria echo caller:
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cousin was still in syria. they cannot go out at night. they cannot go to work because take theirants to house, kill them, take their women, do whatever they want to do. the syrian people and christian same thing around damascus. they kill all the christians and ,ishops and burned the church which tried to defend mujahedin and the islamic brotherhood. they want to control iraq and syria. we have been living there for 50 years. great president for christian people, for all people. greatl the people, he was for all the syrian citizens. syria,send terrorists to
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the islamic brotherhood, they want to go to syria for a shared asset. host: richard barrett, your thoughts? guest: i think one of the great tragedies is that his has been a wonderfully inclusive society. shiite, sunni, or whatever, it has not really mattered, you are syrian. it has not really matter whether you are kurdish or arab or so on. or syrian or whatever. unfortunately, the repressive nature of the society under bashar al-assad became unsupportable for people. although he may have been fine in looking after those minorities, i don't think the majority of syrians really believe that he was something that they wanted in charge of their country. syria whoistians in
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are deeply opposed to the way bashar al-assad has been ruling and how his father ruled before him. because they are liberal people they do not want thef course whole load of people coming and and taking away their choice and destroying their houses. nobody would want that. i think one of the huge challenges syria will face in the future is to remove the growing secretary in a some, the way people view themselves rather than as a syrian or member of the society, regardless of their faith. hard to put very back together again. you can see how difficult it has been in lebanon and equally as different in syria. it is like you smash an egg. not much went in putting them
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all back together again, you still have a broken egg. you need a new country that emerges from that, which is inclusive of all minorities. >> i want to talk now about an article published by cnn about the islamic state in syria in two recruit foreign fighters. this article cites western officials that says they are deeply concerned about not owing to growing members of western passport holders but also the potential for more and more radicals to return to the west and continue the jihad true acts of domestic terrorism. i am curious if you know of any efforts by western nations to act on those concerns that cnn sites. let's look at them separately. this getting into the extremist narrative contradicts being a narrative and points out how close it is and in fact does not
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offer anything but misery to everybody. that is really very difficult. people like to listen to people like themselves who have similar views. they reinforce their own views. there is a ratcheting up of extreme radicalization within the groupings. twitter has been amazingly popular, particularly in some areas of the middle east. facebook popular in other areas. been social platforms have tremendously popular to get the fighting across and get the picture across which suggests it is not that bad, you can survive and there is tough people, good morale and doing fine and all of that, which makes it less of a leap for an individual to go over that. that comes to the second point about the fear of people coming back. is fine you are motivated to go to syria because you think you're doing something good that
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make it look as though it is all in the course. that is fine. that is not a problem. is lots of clips saying this is where i intend to be and i am not coming back. not important i am an american or whatever am i now will be part of the regime. many people do come back. many more will come back. make him back because we are dissolutions or because we had discussed what is going on. they may come back because they are tired and want to go home or they think i made my contribution and now it is time to get on with the rest of my life. also, they may come back severely radicalized, even traumatized by the experience. unpredictable for what people do in the future.
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they also come back with very strong links for other people fighting with them. if terrorist groups are within the networks and are able to exploit them, then you have a problem on your hands in worrying for a return whether he looks normal but in the future he might present a problem. host: marianne on the line for republicans. good morning. thank you for taking my call. i am judging my conversation ,ith you for what i have seen and yet the united nations have never been effective in africa and south america. the cia has been involved in a lot of this. cia wasproven fact the makingd in the drug
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money last night. so as far as i am concerned, the truth about obama sending ammunition over there to syria is the fact. they are trying to do this for christian societies all over the world. you are trained by a communist and a set before he ever became a senator. that is my point. host: your thoughts. the problems of dealing with syria are enormous, and the problems in africa and many other parts are enormous.
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in syria i think it is clear the administration would like to see bashar al-assad. but what do you do to promote that? many have said you have to give us missiles because it is the helicopter and aircraft that are beating us of the most and we have no defense against them at all. the united states we cannot do that to cut the risk of those weapons falling into the wrong hands is just too great. they make it into the hands of extremists and so on, and that would be disaster. , yes, there is a supply of weapons to the rebel forces. let's hope that is a sensible route to take. i think many people in syria, many other people around the world say the west is made a
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this buts hoopla about are doing nothing about it whatsoever and the reason they are doing nothing about is it is difficult to do. you mentioned some of the other policies that many governments have followed by arming rebels or whatever, which have turned out to be a mistake and have turned into arming drug cartels or whatever. in syria i think there is much more sensible approach and measured approach, and really what president obama is doing like many other world leaders is trying to see what can be done at the international level to sort this out were at least lower the temperature some people realize we have defined a solution. consequence are just extraordinary. of 23s in a country million. almost half the country have been displaced in their homes.
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that is not something the world can stand by and watch. >> earlier this year the director of national intelligence spoke about the fighters wererian in the home fighters. >> what we spoke about their is and maybe some respects a new for us.p -- fatah the attraction and writers is very worrisome. , there are aspirations for attacks on the homeland. host: your thoughts. guest: he is absolutely right, it is extremely worrying. the longer these wars go on, the longer they are able to establish a safe haven.
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in that area of course it is extremely difficult to root them out. drones inot defined syria, and i do not see deployment anytime soon in syria, but the problem of getting rid of these people once they have set roots down is extremely hard. there is no predicting what they will do in the future. like he said, it is a recognized branch of al qaeda. to think inreason the future it may not switch focus more broadly. group. more extremist also originally part of al qaeda. it claims not to be now. isis is not the restructuring activity to afghanistan and iraq but a global thing.
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name and change the includes lebanon where they have and will include israel. >> richard barrett, i want to get your thoughts on comments made from the u.s. ambassador talking about al qaeda. he says from the beginning of the armed opposition they sought countries andide were interested in competing with al qaeda groups who had better funding and could get ammunition and. now we have a pretty serious al qaeda problem in syria and were very slow to react to that. i would be interested in your take. very difficult to react to that because it was so
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hard to know what to do. now you have something called the islamic front, a group of other fighters who are not so are different in the view from al qaeda, except that they do not see a reason to attack outside syrian's. the islamic front has taken up arms against the al qaeda group, most particularly against isis. theelies is that it is cafeteria, but second the fact sot i -- that they are deeply engaged in the civil war means other countries are very reluctant to provide help to any rebel group. if they can beat them or share the fighting very hard and they will be more attractive in terms of funds and materials. so we will see how that plays out. even those guys, sure, they are not as bad as isis.
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nonetheless there are elements that are quite extreme. if they did take over in syria, we would have a problem of attracting a particularly extreme estate in a very difficult area of the world. one coast, florida. they're on the line for independents. -- palm coast. caller: good morning. excuse me. good morning. i am 80 years old. time about call last the media not understanding why did what he did with the young man from afghanistan.
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before he even got elected he was talking about closing guantánamo. dropped because he got onto obamacare and a bunch of other stuff. we did not hear much about that. this -- no oneid in the media has mentioned the fact -- host: we have moved on to a conversation about foreign fighters in syria. reason he did this is because he wanted to get our minds off of the v.a. scandal. ont: did you have a comment syria or the discussion? our topic for the conversation is on foreign fighters in serious. moving onto lucy in new york on the line for democrats. a fascinating interview.
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i wanted to ask a simple question that might have a complicated answer. are we giving terrorist too much attention cap con? i think that is a very good question. terrorists do seek attention. that is the whole point that they have a small group of people making a very large impact so they get a lot of attention from the press, public , governments and policymakers and so one. theyf i creating fear create a reaction. they are not out to kill us all but make us out to be afraid that they might. in a way, if we could start with that -- if we could see that kind of exposure we could see terrorists. the problem is that there is such an ideological conviction behind much of it.
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perhaps conviction is too strong but a justification, which makes terrorism a little bit different from how it was in the past when terrorism very much tied up with a particular cause for example between the groups in northern ireland. so now we have a situation where a terrorist can be performing an mind thatror with in not just a simple policy change to let ireland be free from british rule but something much more complicated, much more out of the scope of policymakers deal with. it makes it much harder for everyone to address this problem. the media is bound to cover terrorist attacks. use saw the boston dreadful attack with three people killed and so on and absolute world to world coverage for days. that will happen again. so what do we do when two old any realston without
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reason or policy platform they're trying to promote? it makes it much much harder to deal with. i think we have to give terrorist attention because of the disruption they can cause but i think fundamentally our question is a very good one. >> unfortunately all the time we have for the segment. richardt has been barrett, senior vice president and author of a new report on foreign fighters of the conflict of syria. thank you so much for being with us this morning. next up, recent news reports have highlighted the increasing number of immigrant children who are crossing the united states border alone. coming up next, we will be joined by usa today reporter alan gomes. first, c-span radio four news update. >> jobless numbers in this our show slightly more americans thought and employment benefits
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last week but claims for the benefits continues to hover near seven-year lows. the labor department says weekly applications rose to 8000 to a seasonally adjusted 312 rows and. applications are a proxy for layoff so the running average suggests employers are letting go of fewer workers and may step up hiring. president obama and the other leaders of the g-seven industrial nations have met in brussels and reports say they are prepared to impose further sanctions. released a statement for continuing violation of the sovereignty. the summit is the first since russia was expelled from the group following the annexation of crimea in march. president obama plans to meet with the british prime minister in brussels after the g-seven meeting. after the meeting they will hold at joint news conference. you can hear the alive -- event live at 10:00 eastern on c-span
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radio or watch it live on c-span. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> we wanted a building that was very accessible to the community. we cannot predict the future. on manytapped out computers and wiring we could fit into the structure. holdew building needed to a lot of flexibility. and movement into the future. what we liked about the design is he designed different geometric features. we have the triangular part of the building, around auditorium on the side of the building, a direct thank you bar structure on the west side that we call
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the bar and the crescent wall that hugs the library on the north and east side. all of the different geometric features are bridged together with guy like. theight flows through building at all levels and we have a total 360 degrees view of the surrounding. for ahink it is vital community to have a library that brings people together in this particular space was geared and bringing the community together. it is an opportunity for people to remember that the things that together, the public safety officer, meir in various departments and the library work together to build the city and i like that we have a sickly done that with the architecture. learn about the rich history and literary life of salt lake city utah saturday
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at 6:00 eastern on c-span's to booktv and sunday at 5:00 on american history tv. there have been many news reports recently about immigrant children minors joining the -- crossing the border alone. joining us to discuss this is alan gomez, a reporter for "usa today." for a lot of people this is something they cannot believe. how many kids are we talking ?bout here that guest: it is a lot of them. this year so far in the first five months it has been 47,000 kids. been increasing little by little over the years. just in the past couple of years
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it has really exploded. -- a lot of them being long -- younger and a lot of them being girls. the federal government has decided to take action to take care of the kids. >> you talk about the demographic changes in the sheer numbers. what accounts for why there are more of the children crossing the border now and the young girls you talk about? >> it depends on who you ask. hand you have people who say it is all obamas fault. he said -- many people say more kid should be giving to come over and stay here. we have countries in south america gripped with cartel fights and really dangerous. are immigration advocates
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hearing is once they make it to the united states is their families are subjected to the violence, parents are terrified about the well-being of the children and so they are taking the step of letting the kids go, sending them off with a smuggler in hopes that the child will be safer. after the trip, they would stay in their home country. that is what they hear from a lot of the kids down there. host: once the children leave their birth country, what happens when they arrive. here? guest: a very complicated process. they go through agency after agency. the mayor handed over to health and human services. they are in charge of protecting the children.
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they will be housed in san antonio and then positioned and insurer, california at a naval facility there. they go through all these different steps. government has started to unify all of those. another agency that will be heading this up. it has been very scattershot up until now. one agency holds them and then hands them off to another. the story is not really chronicle. they think by doing this, by bringing the entire group together to court made the care of the kids once they are here am it that they will be able to
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maintain them better and care for each one of them on a more individual basis. >> alan gomez, reporter for usa today. the republican number -- (202) 737-0002 (202) 737-0001 and independence (202) 628-0205 editorial lengthy about this topic. i want to get your take on the final paragraph. they write --
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host: your take? is a lot to digest there. first off, when we talk about locking ourselves in and preventing anyone else from coming in on it as difficult as it is to say, i think it is somewhat of an impossibility. is 2000hwest border miles through treacherous deserts, incredibly high homes and canyons and the pretty fast river running through a big portion of it. we can dedicate resources and change the strategy we are employing down there, it will never completely seal off the border. i think that is one thing. on the other hand, they are absolutely right saying reforming the immigration system will not improve conditions in central america and the portions of south america where we see most of the immigrants trying to cross that border. that, there are things that can help.
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right now one of the biggest reasons we see so many undocumented immigrants crossing of the border is we do not have a working immigration system that allows them to get here. there is obviously jobs for them to do here. there are millions coming. some folks described undocumented immigrants as some of the best economic indicators you will find. system, therrent guest worker programs are not there to bring them in. that is forcing a lot of the people to make the crossing. so their are plenty of folks who think if we do fix the legal immigration system and make it harder for people within the united states to higher undocumented immigrants, the balance between providing work visas and providing the security , the ones working here are legal and going through the system, that that will slow down the flow of people trying to get over the border.
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it is very complicated issue to try to summarize, but i think that gives you an idea of where the folks trying to get reform passed through the hill, what they're thinking could happen. the first segment for the caller is mary lou in new jersey. to both ofod morning you. i want to make a couple of comments about the situation because i have been very concerned about this for many years now. mr. gomez, you're probably familiar with the gentleman by the name of michael lynch who did a documentary coming to america. i think he is either doing a sequel or has completed one. he has reported recently there are approximately 2000 of these people crossing the border every day. the border patrol in texas cannot even control them thomas so they are taking them to other states. i know jan brewer is getting flooded with them.
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one more major comment to everyone listening out there. why should you be concerned about this, especially if you have children? we have these dreamers in our country right now who are being educated, getting scholarships that natural born american citizens children should be getting and are not and legal immigrants should be getting and or not. with all these children coming in, the next idea will be chain migration. for those of you who do not know what that is, parents or grandparents, the and send uncles will be pouring in to take care of the children. we already have a lack of jobs in the country. we are stifled with medical care right now. we are no longer a melting pot.
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do right nowhould is call your representative and tell them we need to follow current immigration law. there is nothing wrong with current immigration law. we need enforcement. we do not need reform. guest: thank you for your call. she made the comments of poor governor brewer in arizona. . ago back when arizona passed a very controversial law. they were facing an absolute flood of undocumented immigrants flowing right across the board -- border. hundreds of thousands.
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just a few years ago it was over 100,000 a year that were pouring into arizona. thee then the crackdown in area to reposition more troops and agents into the area, so what has happened is a flow has shifted. now where we see the biggest spike is the easternmost sector of texas, the rio grande sector. and has absolutely exploded there. 50,000 undocumented immigrants were caught in the sector. last year 150,000. that shows how the pattern shift and how difficult it is to anticipate that and figure out where it is going and reposition your enforcement efforts along those lines. we have repositioned more people to the eastern texas bordered just a few months ago. so fast and so many people coming over that it is really hard to get a handle on that.
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if we got onto the debate on this i do not think an hour would be long enough to talk about that so i think we will leave it there for now. host: a call from ohio. witty on the line for republicans. -- olivia. caller: it has been reported that 60,000 teenagers have been essentially sponsored by the obama administration to travel through mexico from central america. and as you say, they are being housed right now on military bases. also reported that obama has gone to congress and ask for $1.4 billion to support the young people here. i am wondering, is that true? is all of that true?
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we have 60,000 even illegal immigrants coming here from guest: america and why? i will tell you, i think the phrasing is they have come over -- that sponsoring them is probably not true. there are tens of thousands of miners who are undocumented immigrants who come into the is ify, and what happens the federal government picks up a minor who does not have a legal guardian with them, we have to take care of them. that does not mean we bring them in, feed them a little bit, give them a hotel for a couple of days and then let them into the country. all of the kids are put into removal proceedings. the deportation process begins as soon as they are picked up by customs and border protection. there are going
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through the process, the federal government is housing them for a little bit, in some cases two or three months while they try to find their parents legal guardian or relative for anyone can take care of them or watch them while they go through the deportation proceeding. there was a study done recently by therganization institute of justice that found 40% of these kids end up getting some kind of release so they can stay in the country. that can be assigned lump, refugee status. some of them do end up staying here, but the majority of them do not have permanent relief in the country. we do end up spending -- sending tens of thousands back to their country. it is a long process. it is not like they get here and all of a sudden they get a free pass to stay in the country. the other figures you mentioned, i am not sure 1.8 is the right
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number but last year the administration spent close to 100 million taking care of these kids. they feed them, give them medical care. these are kids that just completed the treacherous journey that the adults have made crossing borders, going through canyons, over mountains. they get here are -- and are dehydrated and sick, so the first thing we do is give them medical treatment, feed them and house them, and then the process of figuring out whether they can stay or send them back to their country begins. >> mesa, arizona. -- host: mesa, arizona. caller: everyone who has spoken has said the truth. where do you live, washington, d.c.? recently two different names this week. they put them on planes to tucson and bus them down here.
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the women of these children, a lot of them have husbands over here. they have been here illegally for years. let me tell you, it has been the president because once you're in the country, you're in. we see it every day here in phoenix. do not say they don't cost us anything, they cost us a fortune. have you been to arizona? have you seen what we go through? these people get so many benefits. if i hear one more time they do not get benefits. they get free health care and money for each one of the children for housing. now they will start having kids. they are americans. i live this every day. i know what is going on. it is a mess. first off, i have been to arizona. i have been all along the border. i have written a lot about
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border security issues in specifically what you going through in arizona. i hope anything i say is not mixed -- misconstrued to say this is not a big deal. there have been hundreds of thousands of people crossing the border every year. i think the one thing that everybody in this country can agree on is that fixing the immigration system is one of the main priorities to try to resolve the issue. whether you agree with the law that arizona passed in 2010 and was later mimicked i five or six other states, the idea that they felt they needed to do something to respond to this crisis, to these hundreds of thousands of people coming into their state am i think it is hard to argue against the state trying to get a handle on such an overwhelming issue. of course everybody will come out on different sides of the debate as to what they should have done, what states can do as to what the federal government can be doing but i do not think anybody is denying the magnitude of the issue.
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host: the previous caller mentions the cost to the american people. have you been able to put a number on the miners and what they are costing. guest: just last year it was 90 $8 million. the cost of housing them. the estimates are it could increase to $2 billion by 2015 if the trend continues as it is. a lot of these kids have parents in the united states they are trying to get to. it is very hard to think all of a sudden for some reason they will stop coming over here. so about $800 million last year. i am obviously not sure what the figure will be for the state --
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for this year but $2 billion. this is costing quite a bit. host: the obama administration recently announced the creation of the unified ordination group. i am hoping you can tell the viewers what that is and what it can do. guest: right. that is what we were talking about earlier. once we get the kids they are passed around from federal agency to federal agency. they are tried in trying to court and eight the response so that we take care of the kids a little bit better. up in theem end military facilities in some cases for months while they are being held. when they are being held it is not like they're shacking up by a bunch of troops. the federal government contracts with local agencies to care for them, feed for them and take care of them during that time. what has been happening is all
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of these different federal agencies, you know the size and scope, so imagine these huge agencies handing kids off to one another, not to say any of them are getting lost in the shuffle, but it is harder to track, to understand what each of the kids has been growing -- going through and what the experience has been. they have been coordinating under fema. coordinate thell group to allow for agencies to have better communication understand the problem better and be able to respond collectively as these kids keep coming over. host: long beach, california. terry on the line for independents. caller: good morning. my question is what is the cost to the american taxpayer? the cost for carrying -- caring for the kids of the illegal aliens and why is the american
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taxpayer being subject did to the added expenses? i do not understand. what is with the social engineering going on in washington, d.c.? ander after caller, state voice their opinion regarding this issue of illegal immigration. we don't want them here on the simple as that. we do not want to pay for them. the have kids, families. theave just gone through equivalent of the great depression in this country. and we have $2 billion to subsidize kids of illegal aliens and central american and mexico? give me a break. how long do you think taxpayers are going to go for this? , i think west addressed that a little bit.
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let me ask you this question or make this point. 12-year-old kid crosses the border. customs and border patrol picks them up. do you send them through the border? in many cases the rules are a little bit different. when it comes to public education, it is federal law that if you are documented or toocumented you have a right the education. supreme court has held up these laws. so if you are in arizona and pick up a 13-year-old girl to just crossed the border with the smuggler, you cannot just send them back across the border. this is something the federal government needs to be doing to protect these kids. whocan debate all day about is causing it.
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if they have sent a signal to cross illegally, how we should secure the border, what we should be doing to get these folks and other countries to not make that crossing into the united states, those are debates we should have, that we are having to some degree in congress right now, but i do not how -- do not know how you can sit there and say we just picked up a kid in new mexico in the duster -- desert, throw him across the border, it is not our problem. last month president obama decided to delay a review of the executive action that would have made deportation more humane. is there anything that can be withto help ease the issue regards to children across and the border unaccompanied? guest: this is where it gets even more complicated, even -- especially for the obama administration. congress has been trying to pass
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a broad immigration bill that would address a lot of the problems we're talking about right now. in the meantime, what the obama administration has done is carved out certain spaces for some people who are here who are undocumented immigrants who can stay here. for example, an earlier view work engined dreamers, program the obama administration created to allow young undocumented immigrants who have been here for a certain number of years and meet certain qualifications, going to school, staying out of trouble, to allow them to stay here and not be deported. more than half a million young undocumented workers -- immigrants have been approved so they have stayed. they have allowed spouses and immediate members -- spouses who military members to be spared deportation. so they have conducted a broader review of the entire deportation française to look at the other cases to see what they can do. whether that means they will
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save more segments of the freeumented population are or clear of any deportation proceedings, whether that means they will change the process of how we do it, we still do not know. they have conducted the review. they are holding off on releasing the findings of the review for a couple of months to give congress more breathing space. it will really address what is going on at the border right now. all of the programs we're talking about with the congressional debate, the program by the obama administration to protect young kids from deportation, you have to be in the country by a certain date. all of the kids crossing over right now would not qualify for the programs they are talking about. that is why it is even more impaired it to get something
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done in congress or figure out a solution to the problems so they can at least try to stop the flow of people coming over here so we do not have to deal with this issue every couple of years. the president has said for sometime now and wants to save immigration bill passed. the you see that happening you seeoon? -- do that happening anytime soon? guest: the senate passed a bill last year, last june, and that was pretty big. getting anything that complicated through the senate is a pretty remarkable feat. last june the the house of representatives has not done anything. they say house leadership -- house leadership has continued to say they are interested in this. they all say this is a pressing they want to tackle and
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fix, but here we are a few months before the election and running out of time. if you ask me if there is still a chance, i would say there is still a tiny bull chance. those in the house working behind the scenes to fine-tune a bill that maybe could get through congress. there is still the possibility of doing what they have done in the past year of trying to get a bill that gets all democratic support and enough republicans on board to pass it. there are some attempts to get something through the house that they would take to congress or senate. we are definitely running out of time. has been some discussion of trying to get something for the lame-duck after the elections but something of this magnitude would be very difficult to get through. at this point we are really up against the clock and probably 1.5 months that they will get
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something moving very quickly or else it is officially dead. lockhart, texas. leslie on the line for democrats. caller: good morning. gomez.ou're on with alan caller: i have comments. having worked on the inside without disclosing his entity is , we are talking about the children, but back when the children first started coming in they were all in the general population with the older aliens being caught crossing the border. therefore, a young lady challenged reno in the case of reno versus floyd. when that is going on, they have theave to be separated from
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adults in order for the children to be considered children. these are children as young as seven or eight years old. therefore, that is where the military basis have come in. camps throughout texas. another one at laflin. they are paying employees anywhere starting out at $26 per hour, and after that go straight into overtime. hours are putting in 72 so they can get these kids connected with their own family members are ready here. therefore, he or she goes in, thatct the actual parent enables a family member.
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these kids are crossing the border and the helicopters are going crazy going up and down the river checking to see how many kids are crossing because these kids now know that as long as they get to the texas order line, we will take them and find their relatives over here. therefore, for the heavy influx of children we're seeing, we have until september to go and get the children situated with relatives wherever they may be. a lot of this information given out right now, and i know because i have worked with the people that are a part of the dilemma we are having. guest: she raises a very good point. we saw thereasons obama administration create the new group is because so many
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facilities along the border just were not designed to house 150 adult undocumented immigrants and 150 children, so there have been cases throughout the years of they will put some of the kids in an office room for a couple of days and take care of them there. they will try to find some way to separate them out in a lot of cases when you have so many coming across a lot of these .aces were unprepared if i am an agent in the rio grande sector in texas and i saw undocumented immigrants -- immigration increase from 50,000 last year to 150,000 the next year, that is a staggering increase and impossible to plan for really. the reason they are trying to do this is to get a better sense of what they have. maybe if they have better medication.
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maybe send them to california and house them there and a better maintained, better prepared facility that can take care of them and keep them separated from the general population. what you are saying is what they're trying to fix. in chicago, john on the line for republicans. hello again. thank you for c-span. you guys are complicating this way too much. had the best idea, i think it was him when he said, self deportation. if they cannot get a job here, ,hey cannot get that here cannot get medical attention, cannot get anything, they will go back on their own. secondly, with the kids, what do you mean we cannot send them
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back? yes, we can. some them on mexico. they will take care of them there. send them back to the countries they belong to. if you want to do it the nice way, you make an agreement. tell them you will send the kids back there and they are there. that is it. it is simple, but you guys complicate it. they do not belong here. i do not care how old they were when they came here, they do not belong here. send them back. simple. if the parents are here illegally, send them back with them. it is just so easy and simple. you're not being humane to the americans. and they want to do amnesty.
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they talk about they will go to the back of the line. it is not the country of origin. they go and wait behind the people who are trying to get here legally. i have covered immigration for several years now, and i cannot tell you how many times i have heard hundreds of americans who feel the same way as the viewer does. immigration is a noise has been an emotional issue and one that people in this country get very upset about and heated about. the idea that there are still so many unemployed americans in the country and in some cases fighting for jobs against people who are here in an undocumented status is something that is for this country. the viewer raises such an interesting issue and one that will -- we will hear a lot about
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in the next couple of months. you talk about mitt romney's plan of self deportation and he proposed that during a debate in the republican primaries a few years ago. i think, fromd, taking that stance and what the republican party as a whole has tried to change since then is that when you take a stance like givingu are pretty much away the hispanic vote in this country. it is a very, very big or some of the electorate now. the fastest growing portion of the electorate now. what you saw immediately after the election and immediately sense is the republican party trying to do better with respect. i have talked to a lot of republicans who have tried to reach out to them more, have a better conversation about immigration. all of them remember the fact that mitt romney got 27% of the hispanic vote in 2012.
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bet is a figure that cannot replicated in the next republican candidate wants to win the white house back. you have seen the representative of south carolina that had a town hall back in his district that is only four percent hispanic of the entire town hall in spanish. he speaks the language. has triedican party to get a lot more of the candidates to do more spanish-language television into enter the areas where historically it has not been the most welcoming place for them. so it is not just about things like self deportation and how tough we can get on border security. this is an issue we will see play out in a lot of elections around the country. the hispanic population is growing quickly and a lot of important states. it is not to say something everyone has to embrace, but at least discuss the issue in a way
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that does not just a round up 12 million undocumented immigrants in the country and kick them out. host: a couple of minutes left. tony on the line for our independents. caller: how are you doing? hello? we already talked about the taxes, but a lot of them come to .merica whites or blacks or really help america in the sense there is a lot of criminals here. they use children as upon -- as a pawn to finance themselves in america. that is it. i have no idea what the percentage of hispanic business owners of what folks they hire.
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i amis not something familiar with. i have looked at undocumented immigrants and hispanics and there is no difference in the population. host: port st. lucie florida. john on the line. caller: this has been going on for 30 and 40 years. you are from south florida. i believe you used to work for the " palm beach post." 15 years ago. they quoted me. something to do with we are not melting anymore. that is the whole problem. we are not assimilating. it has been called a critical mass. when you get to critical mass you cannot help but throw your hands up and say, let's just legalize these people because so many are here and we cannot deport them. well, 60,000 is the correct
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number. a caller a few calls back mentioned that. i am sure you know these figures. so it has gone up 10 times. i am amazed nor one is reporting on. there was a report a couple of weeks ago of the obama administration releasing dirty 6000 known liminal illegal aliens from prisons. 400 for murderers, three hundred three this. 600 kidnappers. we're not talking about nice people. now they are in the general population, so we're not sending anyone fact. you just mentioned 12 million. how did it go to 12 million? i thought the mantra was 11 million. we all know that is a falsehood and at least three times that. in 1986 all but one million were supposed to be illegal. three or 4 million signed up.
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all that did was encourage. , it changed ina 1986. i moved to miami in 1978. there was a large cuban population back then. i could not find an apartment for six is -- six days because i could not find a gas station where someone spoke english to give me directions. that was in 1978. i said miami is cuban. that is ok. i will move to west palm beach. they went to lakewood, west palm beach. i am in port lucie. all we're doing is giving people incentives. like the caller said, if we do not hire these people, and wegan had it, the deal was would restrict employment verification, but how long has either the case in --
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e-verification been around and no one is using it. guest: always nice to hear about port lucie. work there a any years ago. it was a little bit closer to 11 million. in the last couple of years that has reversed, and we are back close to 12 million. you mentioned something and little bit about criminals that has been released by the obama administration, by immigration enforcement apparatus. those numbers -- i think the numbers you said -- i will not dispute the numbers at all -- but what was going on in a lot of cases was these were people who served their time in the united states, finished their sentences, and they were in this deportation process where in a lot of cases it was difficult back to -- it was difficult to

Washington Journal
CSPAN June 5, 2014 7:00am-10:01am EDT

Live morning call-in program with government officials, political leaders, and journalists.

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